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“"Nerveuze Vrouwen" Nervous Women exhibition” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Museum Dr. Guislain

Museum Dr. Guislain
Jozef Guislainstraat 43, Ghent 9000, Belgium
+32(0)9/216.35.95
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Ranked #9 of 103 Attractions in Ghent
Type: Specialty Museums, Museums
Attraction details
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“"Nerveuze Vrouwen" Nervous Women exhibition”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

I visited the "Nervous Women" exhibition, which is a temporary exhibition on until the 26th of may 2013. It is an exhibition about "mania, melancholia, weak nerves, theatrical tics, passionate love, self-mutilation, boredom, rebellion and self-starvation" The exhibition was in Flemish, Dutch and English. It was a really well put together and very interesting and sometimes disturbing exhibition. I was really creeped out, especially put together with the vibe of the mental institution. The snow made the grounds eerily quiet. I have a weak stomach so I decided against seeing the permanent display, as the exhibition was enough for me for one visit. Definitely worth a visit for a different museum experience.

Visited January 2013
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76 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Off the map and off the wall”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

This is one of my favourite museums ever, once I'd dared to trust in the tram system and that the no.1 tram not only went all the way there but that the stop would be announced as Jozef Guislainstraat. None of the tourist maps showed it, and the map on their own web site didn't show how it tied up with the rest of town.
But that kind of fits.
I hadn't realised that the building is still a hospital offering peace, safety and care to those who need it. The museum showed how the founders had tried to overcome the punitive attitude to mental health and look for curative if possible, but caring at least, ways of helping. And how many of these interventions still looked barbaric to modern eyes. And there was a general history of society's attitudes and ideas about mental health, from shamans to exorcism to phrenology to neurology and pharmaceuticals. But much more than that was the art - some a permanent exhibition of 'outsider art' and some a current exhibition, many of the artists living in institutions such as this one, relating to place and home and houses real and metaphorical, with meaning to people affected in one way or another by menatl health issues. These were stunning paintings and models and photos of infinite variety. Fantastic.

Visited August 2012
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Tampa, Florida
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Fascinating museum!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2012

Very well done as others have previously posted. A large variety of artifacts, photos, books, videos, and art. Worth a visit and definitely a break from the norm of museums. It closed at 5pm, and I wished I'd arrived sooner. Give yourself a couple hours so you aren't rushed.

Visited August 2012
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NYC
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“unbelievable”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012

this is one of my favorite places ever--there was almost no one there when i went and it was a gorgeous day. rent a bike and ride out there. the art collection is outstanding, beautifully displayed, and the accompanying text about the artists is fascinating. the temporary exhibit when i was there was also great.

wandering the halls and grouds and sitting in the courtyard were lovely.

Visited July 2012
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Bucharest, Romania
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
31 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Unusual museum I am happy I didn't miss”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2012

Tram no. 1 will leave you in front of the museum.
Part of it is dedicated to the history of mental illness and to the way people dealt with it in the past. Highly educational.
The other part had a current exhibition on outsider art. Very interesting. While there, we occasionally met wandering mental patients and, although it was perhaps a bit disconcerting in the beginning, we grew to accept that one should not be afraid but rather understanding.
You can have a drink in the garden and also enjoy the deep silence and tranquility of the place. An unexpected, wonderful place!

Visited June 2012
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